Friday, January 15, 2010

Ireland to face Brazil at the Emirates

The FAI today confirmed that Ireland will play Brazil in a friendly at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, March 2nd, subject to final approval.

Kentaro, the international sports promoter involved with the fixture, announced the Emirates as the venue for the friendly. Kentaro are expected to announce kick-off time and ticket details next week.

Kentaro, who have staged a number of Brazil matches at the north London venue previously, including matches against Italy, Argentina and Portugal, had been in talks with Arsenal football club for some time while the FAI had been negotiating with the GAA.

Croke Park had been interested in staging the game, and stadium director Peter McKenna expressed his regret that the match was being taken abroad yesterday, but the final decision was Kentaro’s to make.

“I would love for the game to be at Croke Park in Dublin,” explained FAI chief executive John Delaney. “But Kentaro have the European rights for Brazil . . . we’ve been invited to play the game but had no input into where the game was staged.

“It would have been nice to play the game in Croke Park, it would probably have been our last game in Croke Park, but it’s not to be.”

Ireland’s recent games in London, against Colombia and Nigeria, have attracted rather modest crowds but Brazil have filled Arsenal’s 60,000 seat venue on each occasion that they have played there.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s side will also take on Argentina at the new Lansdowne Road on Wednesday, August 11th.

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